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Sustained Silent Reading | Drop Everything and Read


Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) and Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) are different names for the same process. This is one of the easiest strategies for all ages of students, and one with high payoffs in student learning.

With the DEAR/SSR process, everyone including the teacher reads for twenty minutes. There are some basic rules:

  • Everyone reads, including the teacher
  • Everyone gets to pick what they read including comic books
  • Games, music, TV and other distractions are not allowed
  • There can be sharing and follow up activities for the reading, but there doesn't have to be
  • Teachers do not use time to "read" and grade papers
  • Reading Web sites is allowed, if everyone gets a turn

Classroom Library or Reading Room

The easiest way to run the DEAR/SSR process is when there is a well stocked classroom library. This usually takes several years of assignment in a same/ similar grade and frequent stops at garage sales before the library can be considered to be "well stocked."

It is also important to track the books, magazines, comic books, manuals, reports, and other reading that students do at this time.

While students are free to choose what they want to read, the teacher should know what the students are reading. Then, the teacher can make suggestions and discuss what students are reading at different, informal times during the day.

Here is a sample form that can be used to track DEAR/ SSR reading. (PDF Format)